Thursday, January 21, 2021

Voting At The National Assembly On The Promulgation Of The Constitution Of The Gambia 2020

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It is important for the Public to realise that voting in the National Assembly is dictated by the Constitution and The Standing orders.

Standing order 16 1 states: every decision of the National Assembly shall be taken by a simple majority of those voting except as otherwise provided for in the Constitution or these standing orders.

The Speaker first determines the majority by voice. If the Voices are equally divided voting must take place.

Furthermore, voting must also take place where the Constitution requires two thirds or three quarters majority.

Whenever voting is to take place, a bell is to be wrung intermittently for four minutes to alert those members, who were outside the chambers to come and take their seats.

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During the vote on the Constitution Promulgation Bill, some members who were outside the chambers answering to the call of nature, did not vote because of the failure to implement the rule to alert members for four minutes before voting is concluded.

The members of the National Assembly should insist that this rule to alert members during voting during a division be made explicit to cover all voting based on the two thirds or three quarters majority principle. The vote of a National Assembly member is too precious to be left behind.

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